Prairie Edge

Prairie Edge

Conor Kerr

Set loose a herd of bison in downtown Edmonton: what could go wrong?

200 Pages, 6 x 8 in

  • Hardcover
  • 9781517917234
  • Published: June 4, 2024
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  • eBook
  • 9781452971285
  • Published: June 4, 2024
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Details

Prairie Edge

Conor Kerr

ISBN: 9781517917234

Publication date: June 4th, 2024

200 Pages

8 x 5

"This is a novel wise enough to know that the future we all want begins with our imaginations. A story both sharp and fresh, Prairie Edge dreams bison back into our everyday lives, our cities, and our future. Author Conor Kerr believes the prairie is calling the bison back, and in this novel he dares to braid threads of a storied past with the troubled present and a vision of a beautiful future." —Michelle Porter, author of A Grandmother Begins the Story

 

"Prairie Edge is a deeply introspective, philosophizing Indigenous Western that is filled with life, love, disaster, and freedom—which reminded me so much of Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses solidified in Métis epistemologies and histories. Ezzy and Grey are dynamic characters serendipitously bound through lineage and strife, and their unflinching, although largely unspoken, love for one another is Indigenous kinship at its best. Prairie Edge truly conceptualizes the verb ‘herding’: here we are rustled into trailer, reservation, university, foster care, and prison systems, and the violence of imperialism is never once glossed over. Don’t be fooled, this novel also herds us into decolonial activism, sovereignty, and necessary criticisms all the while filled with ‘poets and dreamers’ and the roaring buckle of galloping Indigenous futurities. Fans of Michelle Good, Cody Caetano, and Jessica Johns—this book is for you!" —Joshua Whitehead, author of Making Love with the Land

 

"Prairie Edge draws from the wisdom and resilience of the ancestors to yield a strong and spirited story for today’s generation and those to come. A modern storytelling master, Conor Kerr has crafted an outstanding novel that’s both triumphant and tragic. I laughed, celebrated, and grieved with these characters, all of which felt genuinely familiar like cousins, aunties, friends, and more. Expertly capturing the contemporary Métis spirit, Prairie Edge is truly an essential story for our time." —Waubgeshig Rice, author of Moon of the Turning Leaves

 

"Searing yet compassionate, sharp yet tender. Conor Kerr's Prairie Edge is both a marvel of storytelling and a devastating critique of activists who care more about building their brands than taking care of their kin. Get swept up in this captivating story, then reckon with its startling implications." —Alicia Elliott, author of And Then She Fell

 


Set loose a herd of bison in downtown Edmonton: what could go wrong?

Métis cousins Isidore “Ezzy” Desjarlais and Grey Ginther have beef with their world. With the latest racist policy rolling out. With whatever new pipeline plowing through traditional territory. With the way a treaty (aka, the army) forced the Papaschase Cree off their home on the prairie. And, on the other hand, with how Grey’s friends think if they all just went back to the Rez or the settlement, life would be so much better—pretty, like an Instagram ad. Then there’s the warming planet. And their future, which they seem to be screwing up quite well on their own. Being alive can’t be all cribbage, Lucky Lager, and swiping the occasional catalytic converter.

One night, the cousins hatch a plan to capture a herd of bison from a nearby national park and release them in downtown Edmonton. They want to be seen, be heard, and to disrupt the settler routines of the city, yet they have no idea what awaits them or the fateful consequences their actions have. Balancing wit and sorrow in a work of satire, social commentary, and whip-smart storytelling, Prairie Edge follows Ezzy and Grey’s inspired misadventures as their zealous ideas about bringing about real change do indeed elicit change, just in unexpected and sometimes disastrous ways.

Conor Kerr imagines a web of Métis relationships strained by dislocation, poverty, violence, and cultural drift, but he also laces the ties that bind Ezzy and Grey—and forever bind the Métis to the land—to explore the radical possibility that a couple of inspired miscreants might actually have the power to make a difference.

Conor Kerr is a Métis/Ukrainian writer living in Edmonton. A member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, he is descended from the Lac Ste. Anne Métis and the Papaschase Cree Nation. His Ukrainian family are settlers in Treaty 4 and 6 territories in Saskatchewan. Kerr grew up in Saskatoon, Edmonton, and other prairie towns and cities. He is author of the poetry collections An Explosion of Feathers and Old Gods and the novel Avenue of Champions, which was shortlisted for the 2022 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, longlisted for the 2022 Giller Prize, and won the 2022 ReLIT Award. In 2022, he was named one of CBC’s Writers to Watch.